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What Successful People Do Differently During A Crisis

This Covid situation had a major impact on most people.

Many countries abroad are on lockdown.

Many companies are encouraging their employees to work from home or work from home on alternate weeks.

Our local government is enforcing many measures like the alternate seating, no more than 10 people gatherings and most recently, the rebate and deferment of property rental payments, mortgage loans and insurance premiums.

The stock market, too, has plunged about 20% from its high.

How then can individuals like you and me overcome this crisis?

Other than, you know, washing our hands regularly and being socially responsible. Oh yes, not touching our faces too.

Source: Reuters Youtube Video of chief health officer for Santa Clara County, California on "Start working on not touching your face."

1. Change of Perspective

There is a Chinese saying, 危机就是商机。

For not who aren't fluent in Chinese, it simply means there is an opportunity in every crisis.

Businessmen Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp founded Uber in 2009 after they couldn't find a taxi ride on a cold night in Paris. Within 10 years, the company got listed on the New York Stock Exchange. The value of the company is approximately USD 42.5 billion (as of 2 April writing).

Jan Koum and Brian Acton started Whatsapp in 2009. It was meant to be an encrypted messaging application for people to chat privately and quickly without having any major companies or government spying on us.

The mobile application had 2 billion global users and was later sold to Facebook at $19 billion in 2014.

If you have a very good idea that can disrupt the status quo of certain industries or a better and more efficient way of doing things, then probably now is a good time to step on the accelerator for that billion-dollar idea.

You may not hit that billion-dollar mark like Whatsapp or Uber, but that business (if successful) can potentially change your life trajectory financially.

(If you find that jumping into business full time is too risky, you can consider doing it as a side hustle. After all, some of us may have the benefits of working from home now.)

2. Attitude of Gratitude

In times like this, it is easy to be upset that our pay got cut.

In times like this, it is easy to be demoralized that we lost our jobs and have challenges putting food on the table for our family.

In times like this, it is easy to be worried that the future is bleak.

If you think this is rock bottom for you and you are reading it from Singapore, then perhaps you can take a look at what some of the people in India are going through.

“We will walk almost 800 km. If we get a vehicle, we’ll hitch a ride. Else we’ll walk all the way to Azamgarh. We were waiting all this while in Noida. But things are so expensive. There was not enough to eat. So we are headed home.”

Instead of being upset or complaining that we don't have enough or our benefits/ entitlement got reduced, it may be more helpful to be grateful that we are not in a plight like those people in India.

3. Diversify Your Income Stream

This situation potentially can be a wake-up call for most people who rely solely on one source of income, which likely would be their salary.

With the Covid dark clouds hanging over our heads, there is a risk of potential pay cuts, if you are lucky, or layoffs.

Given that, it is a good time to start exploring building a new income stream. It could be a side hustle that we talked about in Point 1, or it could be another approach like investing income.

If you have started investing, chances are, your portfolio is in the red. If you are worried, you can read the blog post I had written previously.

If you have not started, then now is a pretty good time to start your "shopping". Prices of various asset classes are depressed and on major discounts.

This is a rare opportunity and if we take advantage of the situation, this could be one of the big turning points in our life.

If you find investing now too risky for you, currently there is an investment that gives you returns of 8-10% with capital guaranteed. This would be a capital guaranteed product (regulated by MAS) that will give you equities like returns. This product with limited quota. As such, if you are keen, feel free to reach out to find out more.


This situation affects each and every one of us. The question is how are we going to react to the situation?

I feel that what separates the successful people from the average folks are that successful people view the situation with a different lens, adopts an attitude of gratitude and always finding ways to diversify their income streams.

If you adopt the above steps, you will likely emerge victoriously after this crisis.

Meanwhile, be socially responsible, stay safe and pray that you and your family are healthy during this period.

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